Map Monday: Duluth as the Center of Half the Country

The text reads “all points to the north and west of this line are nearer to Duluth than Chicago.”

Via Perfect Duluth Day, this is a funny map from a civic booster-era advertisement touting the centrality of Duluth in 1888. The cartographer drew a line separating the country into two geographic catchments, the Chicago half and the Duluth half of the USA.

Sort of a fun line to draw, in a way. I guess…

The rest of the advertisement is worth reading as well. For example, the cop claims that “no city in America is growing as fast today as is Duluth.” For the record, I am skeptical about the historical validity of that claim. The 1880s were a boom time for a great man American cities.

Check out the rest of this cool document below.


Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.